Ronald Acuña Jr.’s left ankle was too sore for him to make an immediate return to the Braves’ lineup on Friday night. But there’s still a chance the young superstar will be back in right field for Saturday night’s game against the Brewers.
“The training staff said they’ll treat him today and see where he’s at,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said prior to Friday’s game. “They said, there’s a chance he could get all the swelling out and be good to go tomorrow.”
Acuña was walking without any assistance on Friday, but to be cautious the Braves will have him undergo additional testing before returning to action. The 23-year-old outfielder injured his ankle while attempting to record an infield single in the seventh inning of Thursday’s loss to the Blue Jays. He landed awkwardly and his left leg appeared to lock after he crossed the first base bag.
X-rays completed in Atlanta on Thursday showed no fracture.
“He jammed it pretty good,” Snitker said. “It’s just hard to put a lot of weight on it.”
As the Braves opened a three-game series in Milwaukee on Friday night, Ehire Adrianza filled Acuña’s void both in right field and the leadoff spot. Ender Inciarte was also back in the lineup to serve as Atlanta’s center fielder.
Inciarte was activated from the injured list to fill the roster spot opened when Cristian Pache was placed on the injured list with the strained right hamstring he suffered on Thursday. Inciarte had been out since April 16 with a strained left hamstring.
When Pache and Inciarte were both on the injured list, the center field duties were assumed by Guillermo Heredia, who has been sidelined since April 30 with a strained right hamstring.
How can three center fielders suffer a hamstring strain within the season’s first six weeks?
“It’s just all the injuries in baseball,” Snitker said. “I can’t point a finger to anything. Outfielders have been going in pairs around here. I don’t know.”